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As Thai Airways loses government backing, its share price skyrockets 60%

Share price of Thai Airways International, trading under the iShares Morgan Stanley Capital Investment (MSCI) Thailand Capped ETF banner on IG, has risen over 60% since its debt restructuring plans were approved by the Thai government on Tuesday 19 May 2020.

Share price of Thai Airways International, trading under the iShares Morgan Stanley Capital Investment (MSCI) Thailand Capped ETF banner on IG, has risen over 60% since its debt restructuring plans were approved by the Thai government on Tuesday 19 May 2020.

Shares of the airlines hit as high as 6.20 Thai baht on Thursday 21 May 2020.

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Thai Airways to undergo reform under Thailand’s bankruptcy law

Chakkrit Parapuntakul, Second Vice Chairman and Acting President, Thai Airways International Public Company Limited, had revealed in a press release the Thai Cabinet’s approval of the airline’s reform plan.

The debt restructuring will be implemented through the business reorganisation chapter under the auspices of the Central Bankruptcy Court of Thailand and the Bankruptcy Act.

Although Thai Airways’ reform plan will be implemented and exercised through the business reorganisation chapter as per the country’s bankruptcy law, the entity ‘will not be dissolved or go into liquidation or to be declared bankrupt’, he added.

On the contrary, he noted that the business reorganisation chapter will enable the airline group to reach its reform plan’s objectives even more effectively step by step as required by the law, which provides equitable protection to all relevant stakeholders.

Thailand government to reduce shareholding in Thai Airways

This was endorsed by Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, who told reporters during a press conference that ‘the government has reviewed all dimensions’ and has ‘decided to petition for restructuring and not let Thai Airways go bankrupt’.

Mr Chan-ocha also revealed that the Cabinet has agreed to the government reducing its stake in Thai Airways from the current 51% to under 50%, effectively ending the airline’s status as a state-enterprise.

‘Thai Airways will be protected by the courts … and a professional will be appointed to oversee the restructuring,’ he further stated, adding that the airline will be able to continue operations with jobs kept intact.

Business operations to be conducted as usual

In the meantime, Parapuntakul affirmed that Thai Airways will aim to conduct its normal business operations as usual, including its passenger charters and cargo flights.

‘The business will be conducted in parallel with the reform plan to increase operational efficiency and improve product and service quality,’ he said, adding that the group is ‘committed’ to doing ‘everything possible’ so as to emerge from the crisis as a ‘stronger and more sustainable entity’.

On 18 May, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand extended the prohibition of international flights into Thailand until 30 June 2020. Thai Airways will also suspend operations in June 2020 accordingly, with resumption of services in July 2020 still under consideration.

IG is a world-leading online trading and investments provider for thousands of financial markets. With CFDs (read about CFDs here), you can buy long or sell short on Thai Airways (via iShares MSCI Thailand Capped ETF) depending on whether you think prices will rise or fall. Start today by opening a live or demo IG account.

Thai Airways posted losses every year after 2012 (except in 2016)

While Covid-19 has severely impacted airlines globally, the pandemic has only exacerbated Thai Airways’ problems, which go back several years. The airline has posted losses every year after 2012, with 2016 the exception.

In 2019, the airline and its subsidiaries suffered losses of US$377.3 million and lower passenger traffic, which it attributed to the US-China trade war, Hong Kong protests, natural disasters and the strongest Baht appreciation in six years.

For now, Thai Airways’ share price is still down roughly 16% year-to-date. As at 13:30 SGT on 21 May, shares are trading at 5.80 Thai baht apiece.

How to trade Thailand stocks with IG

Are you bullish or bearish on iShares MSCI Thailand Capped ETF and other ETFs? Either way you can buy (long) or sell (short) the asset using derivatives like CFDs (read about CFDs here) in a few easy steps:

  • Create a live or demo IG Trading Account or log in to your existing account
  • Enter <company name> or <ticket code> in the search bar and select it
  • Choose your position size
  • Click on ‘buy’ or ‘sell’ in the deal ticket
  • Confirm the trade
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Daily Financial News

Don’t Count On JPY Correction; Staying Long GBP/JPY

The path of the potential pace of the JPY decline may still be underestimated by markets, which continue trading the JPY long.

While the 10% USDJPY advance from September lows looks impressive from a momentum point of view, it may no thave been driven by Japan’s institutional investors reducing their hedging ratios or Japan’s household sector reestablishing carry trades.

Instead, investors seemed to have been caught on the wrong foot, concerned about a sudden decline of risk appetite or the incoming US administration being focused on trade issues and not on spending. Spending requires funding and indeed the President-elect Trump’s team appears to be focused on funding. Here are a few examples: Reducing corporate taxation may pave the way for US corporates repatriating some of their USD2.6trn accumulated foreign profits. Cutting bank regulation could increase the risk-absorbing capacity within bank balance sheets. Hence, funding conditions – including for the sovereign – might generally ease. De-regulating the oil sector would help the trade balance, slowing the anticipated increase in the US current account deficit. The US current account deficit presently runs at 2.6% of GDP, which is below worrisome levels. Should the incoming government push for early trade restrictions, reaction (including Asian sovereigns reducing their holdings) could increase US funding costs, which runs against the interest of the Trump team.

Instead of counting on risk aversion to stop the JPY depreciation, we expect nominal yield differentials and the Fed moderately hiking rates to unleash capital outflows from Japan.The yield differential argumenthas become more compelling with the BoJ turning into yield curve managers. Via this policy move, rising inflation rates push JPY real rates and yields lower, which will weaken the JPY. Exhibit 12 shows how much Japan’s labor market conditions have tightened. A minor surge in corporate profitability may now be sufficient, pushing Japan wages up and implicity real yields lower.

JPY dynamics are diametrical to last year . Last year, the JGB’s “exhausted”yield curve left the BoJ without a tool to push real yields low enough to adequately address the weakened nominal GDP outlook. JPY remained artificially high at a time when the US opted for sharply lower real yields. USDJPY had to decline, triggering JPY bullish secondround effects via JPY-based financial institutions increasing their FX hedge ratios and Japan’s retail sector cutting its carry trade exposures. Now the opposite seems to be happening. The managed JGB curve suggests rising inflation expectations are driving Japan’s real yield lower. The Fed reluctantly hiking rates may keep risk appetite supported but increase USD hedging costs.Financial institutions reducinghedge ratios and Japan’s household sector piling back into the carry trade could provide secondround JPY weakening effects

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Daily Financial News

Mexico raises interest rates, cites Trump as risk

The head of Mexico’s central bank says U.S. Republican candidate Donald Trump represents a “hurricane” sized threat to Mexico.

Banco de Mexico Gov. Agustin Carstens told the Radio Formula network Friday that a Trump presidency “would be a hurricane and a particularly intense one if he fulfills what he has been saying in his campaign.”

Trump has proposed building a wall along the border and re-negotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Mexico’s central bank raised its prime lending rate by half a percent to 4.75 percent Thursday, citing “nervousness surrounding the possible consequences of the U.S. elections, whose implications for Mexico could be particularly significant.”

Mexico’s peso had lost about 6 percent in value against the dollar since mid-August. It recovered slightly after the rate hike

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Financial News

Africa’s first Fairtrade certified gold co-operative offers hope to gold miners living in poverty

Syanyonja Artisan Miners’ Alliance (SAMA) has become the first artisanal small scale mining co-operative in Africa to become Fairtrade certified, bringing much needed hope to impoverished communities who risk their lives to mine the rich gold seam that runs around Lake Victoria.

SAMA is one of nine previously informal groups from Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania which has benefitted from a pilot project launched by Fairtrade in 2013. This innovative program aims to extend the benefits of Fairtrade gold to artisanal miners across East Africa.

In that short time, SAMA has undergone training in business and entrepreneurship, as well as safe use of mercury, internal control systems, labour rights and better working conditions, health and safety and more. Previously, daily contact with toxic chemicals used to process gold meant members risked disease, premature births and even death.  Fairtrade gold was first launched in 2011, and SAMA now joins Fairtrade certified gold mines MACDESA, AURELSA and SOTRAMI in Peru.

The co-operative produces just 5 kg gold per year, but nevertheless has the potential to significantly benefit many people in the local community through better conditions through certification. It is expected that Fairtrade and organizations like Cred Jewellery will support the miners, ensuring their gold can be refined and made available to jewellers in the UK and other markets.

Gonzaga Mungai, Gold Manager at Fairtrade Africa said: “This is a truly momentous and historical achievement and the realisation of a dream that is many years in the making. Gold production is an important source of income for people in rural economies. Congratulations to SAMA, it sets a precedent which shows that if groups like this can achieve certification, then it can work for others right across the African continent.”

The Fairtrade Gold Standard encourages better practice and changes to come in line with international regulation around the production and trade of so-called ‘conflict minerals’. Under the Standard, miners are required to:

  • Uphold a human rights policy preventing war crimes, bribery, money laundering and child labour
  • Clearly represent where the minerals were mined
  • Minimise the risks of conflict minerals through robust risk assessments and collaboration across supply chains
  • Report to buyers and trading partners regarding the risks of conflict minerals

Now in its second phase, the programme will focus on supporting other mining groups in the region to access affordable loans and explore a phased approach to accessing the Fairtrade market, allowing more mining co-operatives across Africa to participate in the programme.

Gonzaga added: “Sourcing African metals from smallscale miners in the Great Lakes Region is the responsible thing to do. For a long time companies have avoided buying gold from this region, with devastating consequences for impoverished communities who were already struggling. It has driven trade deeper underground, as unscrupulous buyers pay lower prices and launder illegal gold into legitimate supply chains. That’s why we have chosen to work with these groups to help them earn more from their gold within a robust compliance system that offers social, environmental, and economic protections.”

The Fairtrade gold programme offers a small but scalable solution to sustainable sourcing of gold from the region in line with Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act in the US, OECD Due Diligence Guidance and recent EU Supply-Chain Due Diligence proposals which could come into effect in 2016. This means that up to 880,000 EU firms that use tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold in manufacturing consumer products could be obliged to provide information on steps they have taken to identify and address risks in their supply chains for so-called ‘conflict minerals’.

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